Carex aestivalis M.A. Curtis ex A. Gray - Summer Sedge


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Carex aestivalis - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Hymenochlaenae


Dry to mesic woods, wooded slopes, meadows in mountains.




NH and VT to NC, KY, GA, and AL.


Tufted perennial; stems 40-90 cm, purplish at the base; main leaves 2-3 mm wide, usually sparsely hairy; sheaths hairy, at least ventrally; terminal spikes pistillate in the upper half; lateral spikes 2-4, pistillate, usually overlapping, cylindric, 2-4 cm long and 2-3 mm wide, erect or nearly so, the lower on peduncles to 2 cm, the upper more or less sessile; upper bracts sheathless or nearly so; pistillate scales oval to obovate, half as long as the perigynium, obtuse or short-cuspidate; perigynia narrowly ellipsoid, 2.6-3.5 mm, 1/3 as wide, obscurely several-nerved, tapering to an obtuse beakless apex; achene concavely trigonous.


Fruiting June to August

Wetland indicator: NA

Similar to C. gracillima which also has beakless perigynia but differs from most other members of section Hymenochlaenae in having pubescent lower leaf sheaths. The spikes also tend to be more erect.


Ball, P.W. and A.A. Reznicek. 2002. Carex, In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 23. Oxford University Press, New York.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018